Internet pornography is a favorite form of entertainment or past time for millions of users around the world.
However, is Internet porn harmless or is porn ultimately damaging to individuals and society?
Many people (who likely enjoy porn) would argue that watching porn is harmless as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. However, the numbers don’t lie. Pornography IS harmful. Statistics reflect that millions of people around the world are being psychologically and physically affected as a result of watching Internet pornography.
According to studies from WebRoot some of the effects of Internet porn are as follows:
- Porn increased marital infidelity by 300%
- Teenagers with frequent exposure to sexual content on TV have a substantially greater likelihood of teenage pregnancy;
- About 34% of internet users have experienced unwanted exposure to pornographic content through ads, pop up ads, misdirected links or emails
- Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet
- About 68% of divorce cases involve one party meeting a new paramour over the internet while 56% involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites
- One third of porn viewers are women
- Search engines get 116,000 queries every day related to child pornography
What Do These Statistics Mean?
By just looking at the statistics above it’s easy to realize that Internet porn is clearly damaging individuals, families and society as a whole.
Such kind of statistics reflect the debilitating condition of society when it comes to pornography. There’s no doubt that porn is harming society and that these statistics are increasing instead of decreasing. Therefore more people are becoming addicted to pornography than ever before and as a result more marriages are being destroyed; more families are being broken and more people are subjected to mental and physical abuse because of the effects of porn.
What are the Effects of Pornography?
1. It rewires the brain to the extent that the self-control of the porn viewer / porn addict is weakened tremendously.
2. The porn addict / viewer becomes easily aroused by sexual images and less by his partner. For example, a husband who views porn may become sexually aroused & stimulated by porn images instead of being biologically bonded or stimulated by his wife.
3. Porn addiction increases marital infidelity. The porn addict is no longer aroused by his spouse and so eventually he seeks to “experiment” the porn activities and fantasies he has been watching outside the marriage.
4. Pornography affects one’s spiritual life. Porn images invade not only the mind but they strike right at the soul of a person as porn images become imprinted in the mind to the extent that it causes behavior change both socially and spiritually.
2 Timothy 2:22 says “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart”.
Jesus said that whoever looks at woman with lust has committed adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).
HOW CAN YOU OVERCOME INTERNET PORN ADDICTION?
Jesus mentions that whatever causes us to sin, must be removed from our life (Matthew 5:29-30).
Now, Jesus is not saying in Matthew 5:29-30 that we should literally remove our eye or hands. However He is giving the principle that we need to get rid of the things that cause us to disobey God.
In the case of overcoming pornography, one of the first steps in getting rid of porn addiction is through the following:
1. You must destroy any pornographic material in your possession. This means destroying magazines, pictures and digital images on your phone or laptop. Destroy or delete whatever material reminds you of porn.
2. Take your desire to overcome porn addiction as a journey that begins with a single step. You will not overcome the addiction overnight. It will take time and you might slip up now and again. The most important thing is to continue on the journey to overcoming the addiction even during failures.
3. If you’re really serious about overcoming your addiction – install accountability software on your laptop, PC, tablet or phone. Accountability software will help prevent or stop you from accessing pornographic sites. Also remove yourself from any social network sites where you’re most likely to see sexual images that would have been distributed by other users.
4. Visit a counsellor or make yourself accountable to someone you trust and who won’t judge you because of your addiction. Have someone or people around you who can encourage you to overcome your addiction or to motivate you when slip up.
5. There is also a spiritual aspect to overcoming porn addiction. You must be a born again Christian. Indeed a Christian can struggle with lust and even with porn addiction. However, being a Christian means that you can ask God to help you overcome temptation and deliver you from the addiction. The issue of pornography addiction is just as much a spiritual problem as it is a social problem.
6. Whenever you slip up, confess your sin to God and keep moving towards your recovery (1 John 1:9). Always remember that through Christ you can overcome your addictions (Hebrews 4:14-15).